Treasury Offers Tornado Cash Coin Recovery Guidance

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • The U.S. Treasury has detailed how tornado Cash users can get their money back from the protocol
  • Anyone with funds stuck in the mixer can apply to get them back
  • The amount of information required to do so will almost certainly mean no one takes them up on the offer

If you’ve got coins stuck in Tornado Cash following the U.S. government’s sanctioning of it last month, don’t worry you can get it back now – but you won’t like the process. The U.S. treasury yesterday published guidelines on how U.S. residents and citizens can apply for a licence to recover any funds locked in Tornado Cash following the platform’s closure, although naturally there is a lot of information needed if they’re going to release funds to you and stay compliant with their own rules, meaning the uptake is going to be very, very low.

Pre-sanction Users Can Get Their Money Back

The Tornado Cash mixing service was added to the Specially Designated Nationals list by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in early August over links to North Korean hacking groups. This was in addition to 44 Ethereum addresses, interaction with which was henceforth considered a violation of these sanctions.

The upshot of this was that some legitimate users may have funds caught up in the target addresses and the protocol itself that they can’t legally move. The Treasury has offered these people a way out however – presuming they want to open themselves up to all manner of investigation.

Uptake Will Not be Huge

The Treasury added a question to its sanctions FAQ section yesterday which outlined how to get your funds back if they were stuck before August 8th, the day the sanctions were applied, with a healthy list of demands:

U.S. persons should be prepared to provide, at a minimum, all relevant information regarding these transactions with Tornado Cash, including the wallet addresses for the remitter and beneficiary, transaction hashes, the date and time of the transaction(s), as well as the amount(s) of virtual currency. OFAC would have a favorable licensing policy towards such applications, provided that the transaction did not involve other sanctionable conduct.

This rather tempting offer is only going to be taken by those who have considerable amounts of funds locked away, at which point the IRS is going to take an interest, meaning we can expect the uptake to be very slim indeed.